Before major stories about how money influences politics make headlines on cable news and newspaper pages, OpenSecrets.org is often first to break them.
Sometimes, that involves explaining how political influence efforts affect the public. Other times, it’s investigating tales of dead people donating money to political candidates, or unearthing personal investments of federal lawmakers that might conflict with their public service.
OpenSecrets.org is the website of the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to researching and reporting on the influence of money in politics. And today, it joins the Investigative News Network.
“With so many critical political issues facing the nation today, we’ve redoubled our efforts to produce hard-hitting, timely and original journalism that illustrates what’s at stake,” said Sheila Krumholz, the Center’s executive director. “Our investigative journalism is a perfect complement to the robust research capabilities we’ve amassed in our more than 28 years of operation.”
OpenSecrets.org’s reporting team is led by Dave Levinthal, who, prior to arriving at OpenSecrets.org in 2009, spent seven years covering Dallas City Hall and national politics for the Dallas Morning News. Before that, Levinthal covered the New Hampshire Statehouse for the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass.
Michael Beckel, who previously worked for newspapers in Colorado, is the lead reporter on OpenSecrets.org’s small and aggressive reporting team that also includes Evan Mackinder and frequent participation from staff researchers and news interns.
OpenSecrets.org regularly partners with other news organizations, from the Los Angeles Times and CNN to policy journals such as Remapping Debate, to produce joint reports. Likewise, the Center for Responsive Politics each year provides original data, research and expert analysis to hundreds of news organizations, academics and political watchdogs for use in their own reports. OpenSecrets.org website is used by millions of visitors each year and our data powers the websites of many other organizations, reaching millions more users.
"We are delighted to have OpenSecrets.org become a part of our nonpartisan journalistic community," says Kevin Davis, the Investigative News Network's chief executive officer and executive director. "Their ability to shine a critical eye on money in politics is a terrific fit with our focus on holding the powers that be accountable and educating the public."
The Center for Responsive Politics is funded by a combination of charitable foundation grants, individual donations and custom research requests and data contracts with news organizations. It does not accept contributions from corporations, trade associations or labor unions.